Here’s my morning routine: I wake up, and spend an hour trying to get out of bed. Once I finally do, I have 30 minutes to get out the door. I shower and dress. Then I change my outfit. I get my lunch packed and get my son’s breakfast. Then I change my outfit again. Then I make my breakfast and race out the door because I’m already five minutes late, which means that I’ll arrive at work 15 minutes late. It’s probably not the most efficient use of my time, but I seem to make it
When I get a day off from work, all I want to do is get up in the morning and bake bread. There’s something indulgent about knowing you have enough time in the morning to let dough rise. Bagels are a special treat, because they take lots of pre-planning. You put the prepare the dough and shape the bagels the night before, and then bake them the next morning. These bagels remind me of a cranberry and walnut studded quick bread that we used to have growing up. I also whipped a little bit of orange zest and juice into some cream cheese which complimented the bagels fabulously.
adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
by Peter Reinhart
- Day one: for the sponge - stir in the yeast into the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand.) Add water and stir until just combined. Mixture should form a sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. Mixture should swell to nearly double in size, and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
- For the dough - add the other 1 tsp yeast and honey to the sponge and stir. In a separate bowl, stir together 3 c of flour, sugar, light brown sugar, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sponge and mix on low with a dough hook attachment. Mix until the dough forms a ball, then slowly add the remaining ¾ c of flour. In the last minute of mixing, add the dried cranberries and walnuts.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes, adding a little bit of flour if the dough is still sticky. The kneaded dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. It should read 71-77⁰F and feel satiny and pliable, but not tacky.
- Divide dough into equal portions (about 3.75 oz). Form into balls. Cover with a damp towel and allow them to rest for 20 minutes.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with non-stick spray. Poke a hole into the center of each dough ball and gently stretch to form a ring. Place each dough ring on the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Coat lightly with non-stick spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 20 minutes.
- Check bagels by filling a small bowl with room temperature water. Drop one bagel in the water, and if it floats within 10 seconds of being in the water, then bagels are ready to be chilled. If the bagel doesn’t float within the time stated, pat it dry, return it to the pan, cover, and continue proofing the dough until it passes the test. If the bagel does float, pat it dry, return it to the pan, cover, and cool pans in refrigerator overnight.
- Day 2: Preheat oven to 500⁰F with two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon ready.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and gently drop them in water a few at a time. Cook for 1 minute, flip bagels, and cook for another minute. (For chewier bagels, cook for 2 minutes per side.) While bagels are boiling, sprinkle some cornmeal onto the same parchment-lined baking sheets. Remove bagels from water and place onto prepared pans. Place in oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Rotate pans from top to bottom, and from front to back. Lower oven to 425 ⁰F
- and continue baking another 5 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove pans from the oven and let bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving.